18 September, 2006
Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis told the Associated Press news agency on Sunday that Greece wanted Turkey to become full European Union member adding, however, "that Ankara must recognize Cyprus if it wished to become EU member".
Bakoyannis, currently in New York to participate in the United Nations' general assembly sessions, added that just as all other countries that aspire to join the 25-nation bloc, Turkey must fulfill its EU entry conditions, which include respect of human rights and religious freedom, good relations with its neighboring countries and free customs union.
The Greek foreign minister also spoke to Reuters.
"There is no Europe a la carte. The criteria that have been put up by the EU for every member also apply to Turkey," Bakoyannis said.
"Greece has supported Turkey for the European Union," she said. "This came as a surprise to a lot of people around the world. But it is very simple. For us it is important to have European democratic Turkey on our borders."
The Greek foreign minister also met with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on Sunday. Talks focused on the Cyprus issue in light of Bakoyannis' meeting with her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul here on Monday.
Source: Athens News Agency